NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper yanked his mask off and fell to the ice holding his head after being struck by a stick Saturday.
Play stopped with 56.6 seconds left in the first period against Nashville. Replays showed Predators center Ryan Johansen's stick apparently poked through Kuemper's mask. The goalie was able to skate off and headed to the locker room holding a towel to his face.
Johansen watched a replay of the injury while standing at the boards.
The Avalanche said at the start of the third period that Kuemper would not return to the game.
The top-seeded Avalanche led 2-1 with Kuemper making 10 saves when hurt, and he was replaced by Pavel Francouz. Kuemper won both games to start this series and he came into Game 3 with a 1.40 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.
Kuemper went 37-12-4 helping Colorado take the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
He becomes the latest goalie injured. Casey DeSmith of Pittsburgh will miss the rest of the postseason after he had core surgery after leaving the second overtime of the Penguins' Game 1 victory over the New York Rangers. Carolina's Antti Raanta left a victory over Boston after David Pastrnak struck him in the head with a gloved hand.
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